Ever since Van Diemen's Land was colonised by the British in 1803, the government had used it as a penal colony, a destination for convicts sentenced to transportation. This island off the south coast of Australia seemed like a perfect place to get unwanted members of the population out of the way, and supply them with work on the land. However, once transported convicts finished their period of enforced labour, they typically left the island, generally settling in the neighbouring colony of Victoria. It was partly through protests from the residents of this colony, particularly Melbourne, that transportation to Van Diemen's land was abolished in 1853. After this, the island was renamed after its discover, as Tasmania.
Editors. "Britain agrees to stop convict transportation to Van Diemen's Land". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=10445, accessed 01 August 2015.]